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It's Week 10, the first week of the Playoff Committee rankings and we are only a few days away from the first outbreak of full-on hysteria as teams move up and down the charts. Today we'll make some predictions about the outcome of some of the more critical match-ups:
On Thursday, #2 Florida State notched a win on the road over #25 Louisville. The Seminoles scored a W off the field as well: the lawyer for RB Karlos Williams, the team's leading rusher, heard from the lawyer of Williams' alleged victim of domestic battery. The victim's lawyer informed the Tallahassee Police Department to drop the probe into the incident.
We can only imagine the Tallahassee PD will be happy to oblige, given the department's lackadaisical pursuit of alleged offenses by FSU players.
Before we get into the remainder, we highly recommend digging into Deadspin's analysis of the AP Poll looking for media bias, especially in favor of the SEC.
Also, despite retiring the BCS HAL 9000, any hopes we had of simplifying the Top 25 rankings were smashed this week when we realized that some schedules will list the teams ranked by Playoff Committee position while others will stick to the Associated Press poll. For now, we have no idea which ranking appears next to the teams below. Some things we just don't have the time to figure out.
#7 TCU (-3.5) vs. #20 West Virginia, 2:30 p.m.
Our pick: For the sake of all the couches in Morgantown, we can only pray the Horned Frogs pull this one out. The WVU administration should probably start scheduling all home games before noon. Even the mid-afternoon start time allows far too much time for swilling moonshine and huffing paint.
#3 Auburn vs. #4 Ole Miss (-2), 6 p.m.
Our pick: Can we postpone this game? This is effectively a first-round game in the Playoffs. The teams are a combined 13-2, play in the strongest division in the strongest conference in the country, and one of the two will (probably) appear in the conference championship game which will effectively serve as the play-in game for the "final four" (or whatever we're calling it) unless the Committee gets smart and puts in two SEC teams. Which it won't. Because human beings are susceptible to influence and general stupidity whereas computers don't give a damn. Ah, BCS HAL 9000, we hardly knew ye. Well, that's not true. We came to resent and distrust thee and could never figure out your math, but we felt certain there was some internal logic to the process.
Stanford vs. #5 Oregon (-8), 6:30 p.m.
Our pick: Perfect opportunity for the Ducks to lose, fall out of the Top 5, win out the rest of the way, land a spot in the playoffs and get trounced by one of the aforementioned SEC teams and/or Michigan State in a rematch.
Oklahoma State vs. #9 Kansas State (-12), 7 p.m.
Our pick: Kansas State, the Oregon of the Big 12.
#12 Arizona vs. #22 UCLA (-6.5), 9:30 p.m.
#17 Utah vs. #14 Arizona State (-6.5), 10 p.m.
Our picks: We'll take an exacta on this pair, with Arizona getting the points and an Arizona State cover. (In fact, you could get creative and put the same amount down on a two-team tease to get 'Zona to +12.5 and ASU to -0.5. Either way, you win money. See, gambling is easy. You just have to pick the right side.)
Of the remaining ranked teams in action, we look to the Chicken's picks:
* All the Big Ten ranked teams. You know, all two of them.
* Duke. Yes, Duke. Duke is ranked. Take that one in.
* Oklahoma over Iowa State. The Cyclones are better suited to the American or Conference USA. Maybe even the Big Ten.
Mike Luce is our man on campus - every Friday and Monday. He welcomes your comments.